General Motors Closing – We Can Use the 5th Branch of Power
We all know about the three independent branches of government; Legislative, Executive, and Judicial. We all also know the power, we the people, have over those “Branches of Government” with our vote. And yes, there’s the Fourth Estate, Freedom of the Press. Yet, despite the above, we sometimes feel helpless when events happen in our country that seem to be beyond our control, or when the elected officials seem not to care about the people who put them into office. Thankfully, in capitalism, there is another “branch” that is just as powerful than all three combined, the power of the purse.
GM (General Motors) is closing plants here in the states after we saved them from bankruptcy with billions of dollars. The GM upper management blames the union, lack of sales, and no interest in smaller cars, yet the same car is being now built in Mexico for world distribution. Why can’t that world distributed Car be built here? Why can’t any of the cars that GM built just continue to be built here in Ohio, or for that matter, built in any other state in America that might make sense so that they continue to use American workers. Yes, I know the wages are much less in Mexico and that’s another matter that I’ve addressed many times – Good trade negotiations are needed. Many foreign manufacturers are building in the states therefore the question has to be asked as to why can’t GM?
GM sold 7.5 M cars world wide last year as well as 2.9 M in the US and 3.6 in China. What if we, the people of the United States, boycotted (don’t buy the car) GM cars for a period of a month or two. This “protest” is nothing new, we boycotted in 1773 in Boston, and there are many economic and social boycotts that get results. I am sure GM upper management will quickly realize that they need to reexamine the plant closings and negotiate fairly. Even better, the legislators who negotiates bad trade deals will realize that they need to really pay attention to the consequences of their trade negotiations.
Our power is the guarded by freedom of speech, our vote, and yes, the 5th branch, the power of the purse.